University of Bologna

The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna (Italian: Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, UNIBO) is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088. Since 2000, the University's motto has been Alma mater studiorum (Latin for "fostering mother of studies"). The university received a charter from Frederick I Barbarossa in 1158, but in the 19th century, a committee of historians led by Giosuè Carducci traced the founding of the University back to 1088, making it the oldest university in the strict sense in the world. The university is historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law; indeed, it was set up in large part with the aim of studying the Digest, a central text in Roman law, which had been rediscovered in Italy in 1070, and the university was central in the development of medieval Roman law. Until modern times, the only degree granted at that university was the doctorate.

The University counts about 100,000 students in its 23 faculties. It has branch centers in Imola, Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini and a branch center abroad in Buenos Aires. Moreover, it has a school of excellence named Collegio Superiore di Bologna.


Higher education processes are being harmonised across the European Community. Nowadays the University offers 128 different "Laurea" or "Laurea breve" first-level degrees (three years of courses), followed by a similar number of "Laurea specialistica" specialised degrees (two years). However, some courses have maintained preceding rules of "Laurea specialistica europea" or "Laurea magistrale", with only one cycle of study of five years, except for medicine which requires six years of courses. After the "Laurea" one may attain 1st level Master. After "Laurea specialistica" and "Laurea specialistica europea" are attained, one may proceed to 2nd level Master, specialisation schools, or doctorates of research (PhD).

  • Advanced School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators (SSLMIT)—Forlì
  • Faculty of Agriculture
  • Faculty of Architecture Aldo Rossi
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Economics—Forlì
  • Faculty of Economics—Rimini
  • Faculty of Education Sciences
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • II Faculty of Engineering—Cesena/Forlì
  • Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences
  • Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature
  • Faculty of Industrial Chemistry
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Letters and Philosophy
  • Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences
  • Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Political Sciences
  • Faculty of Political Sciences Roberto Ruffilli
  • Faculty of Preservation of the Cultural Heritage
  • Faculty of Psychology
  • Faculty of Statistical Sciences
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Affiliates and other institutions

In the early 1950s, some students of the University of Bologna were among the founders of the review "il Mulino". On April 25, 1951, the first issue of the review was published in Bologna. In a short time, "il Mulino" became one of the most interesting reference points in Italy for the political and cultural debate, and established important editorial relationships in Italy and abroad. Editorial activities evolved along with the review. In 1954, the il Mulino publishing house (Società editrice il Mulino) was founded, which today represents one of the most relevant Italian publishers. In addition to this were initiated research projects (focusing mostly on the educational institutions and the political system in Italy), that eventually led, in 1964, to the establishment of the Istituto Carlo Cattaneo.

Notable alumni and professors of the University of Bologna
World rankings

In 2010 QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Bologna 176th in the world. On the 2009 THE–QS World University Rankings list (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings), the University of Bologna was ranked inside the top 200 for the third consecutive year. An overview of the THE-QS Rankings up to 2010:

Points of interest
  • Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna
  • L'Orto Agrario "Filippo Re" (Italian) (Translate: Google, Babelfish)

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via